From the moment Donald Trump was elected President members of the entertainment media strove to see Trump messaging in our entertainment offerings. The journalists covering film were as eager as all the celebrities who were wailing about the Hillary loss to bring accountability to Trump. As mentioned in this week’s MH&SS podcast film writers tried saying movies that were released just weeks after the election, like “Star Wars: Rogue One”, and “Hidden Figures”, were delivering messages about the Trump administration.
This, despite two stark realities: Trump had not even taken the office yet, and these films were created and completed long before he was elected. The desire to condemn Trump caused writers who would normally understand these realities to bypass common sense in order to make a political point. That, of course, continues to this day.
Next week (Feb. 16) will see the release of the newest Marvel superhero film, “Black Panther”, and it is already assured to be a huge hit. Advanced ticket sales are so strong it is poised to set an array of box office records. But this being the era of “Trump’s America” it means everything — EVERYthing — must be shot through an orange-tinted prism. And that leads to very imbalanced thinking. This is a driving force behind some ridiculously mentioning Oscar prospects for the film. (Let’s pump the brakes; it hasn’t even been released yet.)
The writers at Salon beclowned themselves (forgive the redundancy) when they came out with a bold declaration. There is all manner of interest and import being attached to this title, as it features a POC hero and predominantly black cast. This is something to be hailed, for sure, but it does not mean you get to excuse all logic like this:
“Black Panther” is the first blockbuster-format release featuring a black hero front and center https://t.co/WVMrYmoECd
— Salon (@Salon) February 6, 2018
This certainly puts the careers of Denzel Washington, Eddie Murphy, Samuel L. Jackson, and Will Smith into perspective! And before you suggest they were referring to comic book films with black lead characters, that is another fail. Wesley Snipes played the character “Blade” from the Marvel stable. And — a personal favorite — Halle Berry was “Catwoman”. (Yes, I know most consider this movie as CINO, but it is a bad film classic that I adore.)
Then for pure comedy, we can look into the hardcore geek universe. In recent years any comic book adaptation has seen a furor erupt over its Rotten Tomatoes score. Fans with a vested interest in a particular title have been upset when numbers do not meet their expectations as if that should have a direct impact on anything. “Black Panther” has now seen its own version.
At the portal Bleeding Cool they tried ginning up controversy by taking umbrage with the fact that the film had seen its review tally dip below perfection. While the movie has been receiving effusive accolades suddenly a film critic reared up who dared defy convention and had an independent opinion on the title. This review messed up the triple-digit approval, and blame must be leveled where due! Sure enough, it did not take long to find the culprit.
Now, your initial reaction may be, “How the name of all that is holy is Trump to blame?” I mean sure, the President is so universally reviled that any perceived slight or injustice can be somehow turned to his blame. And sure, somewhere in this country, there has to be a reviewer who is sympathetic and a Trump supporter, giving the movie a bad review in true #MAGA fashion. This just HAS to explain this injustice!
Yep, there it is. The proof that Trump’s racist America sent the fortunes of “Black Panther” tumbling to 99% comes from…Ireland. And since this injustice was unleashed yet another downcast review further plunged the RT score. This one coming from that Trump-loving enclave of — Australia.
There is your trenchant entertainment commentary. Whenever things arrive which are less than optimum the blame is justifiably placed on Trump’s America. Just look to those foreign journalist outlets if you require evidence!